Alright, before I tell you all about my first experiences with the northern lights, I will give you a heads up on my current situation: My first days in Iceland are over and finally, I managed to update my blog after my work at the University of Reykjavik. All of my older entries are now available in German and I will keep posting bilingually in the future.
I experienced a lot in my first weeks on this island and you can eagerly await new stories! Therefore, I will be telling you about the last couple of weeks right now and never let you wait for current stories again!
Okay, enough of that, let’s hear it about my first ever sighted northern lights!
The Flight To Reykjavik
My last longer journey was almost two years ago and therefore it was time to leave Germany once again. It was extremely early when my dad took me to Bremen Airport. Since he had to catch the ferry back to Langeoog, I had nine hours in front of me to kill. That might sound really bad, but since my excitement for Iceland grew with every minute, it was actually quite okay, and like most of the time, when you least expect it, I met decent people at the airport namely: Anki and Selina, who I also spent the first days on Iceland with including my first road trip. But more of that in the next post!
I have seen pictures of people on the internet who were able to see the northern lights out of the plane previous to my departure. So, I was really happy when I got a window seat at the check in. The crew even took my whole surfing equipment – which mostly is the hardest and most complicated part while flying – without any hesitations! The whole flight was over in only three hours and therefore really easy to enjoy; I even forgot to look out of the window during the flight but as I saw heads turning and heard people gasping I know that my hidden hope came true: Green dancing polar lights where lighting up the sky. Since nearly all of the passengers were sleeping as it happened, you can imagine how relieved I was that I did not miss this spectacular view.
Unfortunately, the quality of the pictures taken aren’t that great but I was so caught up in the moment that I could not stand up and get my camera out of the compartments above my head. Luckily one of the passengers sent me his pictures afterwards, so that you can get a hint of how beautiful my welcome was.
I have to admit that the colors of the northern lights were indeed exactly as bright and amazing as they seem in the pictures. I was extremely lucky to see the lights and only the real thing could outglitter the pictures below.
The first days
I found a really nice family, who let me stay at their house for my whole time being here and it’s only because of them that my first days in Reykjavík were that easy. The story of how exactly I found them will be its own one to tell. My `hostfamily` helped by showing me the city and enabling me to buy a bus ticket so I could get around on my own which would be really hard otherwise, considering I didn’t exactly bring a car with me on the plane.
Reykjavík itself is amazing to me. It is small, manageable and well-structured, exactly like Muenster or Langeoog – only with more nature and mountains in the background. Naturally, one should be aware of the fact that it is indeed a small city; I often met people who weren’t able to spend more than a day in a city as small as this one.
I gathered tremendous different impressions during my first steps in this big village, but I will save the cultural trip to the museum for the long and cold winter months that are to come. In the end, rather than walking though the heated buildings, I enjoyed a good stroll through the city and quickly discovered the humorous difference between a true Viking and a tourist like me.
Northern lights illuminate Reykjavik
It was a quite spontaneous act, to grab my camera and the tripod while I was calling my parents shortly after my arrival in Iceland but I should be rewarded for this. After a couple of minutes into the conversation, there were unbelievable green northern lights which developed instantly out of the blue right here in the middle of the capital.
I can’t help admitting to myself that I was disappointed of the polar lights before my travels. I was told that the human eye was never able of seeing the northern lights the way they appeared in the pictures and of course they have been a main reason why I was drawn to Iceland in the first place, but what I saw in the plane when I got to the island, and what I caught over the phone was nothing like the stories I heard. Beginning with the various shades of green and ending with the violet outlines of the lights, I was shown almost everything there was to offer. I know that I got very lucky to see the northern lights, especially considering they are an even more rare sight in the city.
I knew in this very moment that my decision to go to Iceland was the right one and that even though it was a tough choice with a lot of financial problems and with a preparation that has never been as intense before, I was thrilled and grateful for my ability to stand here right now.